Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), today issued the following joint statement after the Biden administration announced a principal agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty.
 
“We commend the Biden administration on reaching agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty. Despite Russia's wide ranging malign activities, ensuring limits on and insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal is unquestionably in the national security interest of the United States,” the members said. “We can deter Russian aggression and secure our interests through arms control at the same time. As our military leaders have long stated, New START provides stability and predictability to the Department of Defense in its highest priority: Deterring the use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies. This is an important first step toward a more sane nuclear policy.”
 
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Transgender Service Members Once Again Able to Serve Proudly 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order to reverse the unconstitutional, discriminatory ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

“In just the first week of the Biden administration, the President has delivered on a number of promises that will help create a more perfect union that reflects our values. Today, by reversing the harmful, discriminatory policy of the previous administration, President Biden has ensured that thousands of transgender service members will be able to serve as their authentic selves. The Biden administration’s commitment to these brave service members – and their fair treatment under the law – underscores the immense value of each and every man and woman who serves or will serve our country in uniform, regardless of their sex assigned at birth. I want to thank these brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsman, Marines, and Guardians for their continued service and commend President Biden for his recognition of their importance to our all-volunteer force.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement prior to Secretary-designate, retired General Lloyd Austin’s participation in an informal roundtable with a bipartisan group of members to discuss the importance of civilian control of the military.
 
“I am very glad that Secretary-designate Austin has agreed to sit down with members of the committee today to further explain his commitment to civilian control of the military. While we hoped to hold an open hearing with the Secretary-designate and he had agreed to do so, procedural issues have prevented a hearing. The House has not yet finalized the roster of members who will serve on our committee in the 117th Congress. As a result, we were unfortunately unable to complete the required procedural work that must precede any formal committee business in this new Congress.
 
“While today’s roundtable will be an informal event, it is still enormously important. The Secretary-designate chose to speak with members because it is important to him, and the entire Biden-Harris administration, to be transparent and accountable to the American people. Secretary-designate Austin understands that some members had reservations about his nomination given the need for a waiver, and his willingness to have an open dialogue with Congress is a testament to the kind of leader he is and will be once his historic confirmation is complete.
 
“This afternoon the House will vote on the waiver necessary to complete the Secretary-designate’s confirmation process. Once the House has acted, I am optimistic that the Senate will act swiftly to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s confirmation and provide the Pentagon with the strong, stable leadership required for these tumultuous times.”
 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 335, legislation to provide Secretary-designate General Lloyd Austin III (ret.) the waiver required to complete his historic confirmation by a vote of 326 to 78.

“Today the House sent a clear message: Secretary-designate Austin is an extremely qualified leader who should be swiftly confirmed by the Senate and assume the role of Secretary of Defense. Our country faces a myriad of national security challenges, and President Biden deserves the cabinet of his choosing as his administration seeks to address these challenges.

“In his conversations with me and many other members of the House, Secretary-designate Austin has proven that he is a capable leader, who is committed to the civilian control of our military and is ready to lead the Department of Defense as soon as he is confirmed. I remain optimistic that the Senate will act expeditiously to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s historic confirmation.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass the impeachment resolution charging the outgoing President with a count of “Incitement of Insurrection” for his actions on January 6, 2021.

“The assault by pro-Trump extremists on January 6 was not just an attack on the United States Capitol but an attack on the United States and our democracy. After President Trump and his supporters spent months spreading lies and propaganda about the election, President Trump’s supporters attempted to stage a coup and overturn the results of our free and fair presidential election and end our democracy as we know it.

“Everyone involved in this attack must be held accountable, including the President. There is no question that President Trump incited this violence starting with his perpetual lies about the presidential election, encouraging his supporters the morning of the attack, and utterly failing to quell violence and respond sufficiently after the attack had begun. From the beginning, the lies about the presidential election stoked by President Trump and his co-conspirators, including many Republicans in Congress, are not about election fraud but a brazen attempt to hold onto power by any means necessary, even at the cost of lives and our democracy.

“With only seven days left in office, Trump has demonstrated he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer. Inciting an insurrection in an attempt to maintain power warrants the immediate impeachment of President Trump, also ensuring his disqualification from holding any public office in the future. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must hold President Trump accountable for his actions and I urge my Senate colleagues to convict and remove him.”

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